During a much too short hour between rehearsals, I caught Sope Dirisu for this interview. It was in the middle of November when he portrayed Shakepseare’s enigmatic ‘Corolanius’ on the Barbican stage. At that point in 2017, he had been crowned the ‘Rising Star’ by Screen Nation earlier this year, an accolade he is more than deserving of. This accomplishment is more impressive when you come to the knowledge that he has an Economics degree rather than professional training from drama school. His lack of professional acting training is something he is both thankful of and sometimes longs for, something he expands upon later in the interview.
However, it’s not just his acting resume that fills our lunchtime conversation, we talk self-care, WhatsApp groups and Vodafone auditions…
BB: How does it feel to be performing specifically at the Barbican?
SD: Feels like overcoming a fear. I remember coming to see Hamlet here and Es Devlin’s set was so big. I remember being overwhelmed by the space, so when I was told Coriolanus was going to the Barbican, I thought “yo, we’re going to be performing on the same stage as they did Hamlet.” Now because I did not go to drama school, I was very worried that my voice wouldn’t be able to cope. So being able to perform here is overcoming a fear; surmounting a hurdle if you will.